Monday, July 26, 2010

All-New 2011 Ford Explorer Offers Surprising Level of Convenience, Connectivity Technologies

  • The new Ford Explorer offers customers an array of convenience technologies to tailor their SUV experience to their individual wants and needs
  • Technologies such as MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology and Ford SYNC® communications and entertainment integration add convenience while helping keep customers engaged and focused on driving
  • Explorer offers a Sony® Audio System with HD Radio™, media hub with two USB ports, an SD card reader and RCA video input jacks accessible through an 8-inch LCD screen with intuitive five-way controls mounted on the steering wheel
  • 2011 Explorer will be available in base, XLT and Limited trim series with multiple package offerings, such as adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert and active park assist

2011 Ford Explorer


DEARBORN, Mich., July 26, 2010 – The all-new Ford Explorer will offer SUV customers a broad range of trim levels and customer convenience and connectivity technologies that will raise the eyebrows among even luxury SUV owners.  


“Today’s SUV customers really aren’t interested in compromising,” said Amy Marentic, group marketing manager. “They want luxury, convenience and technology with their all-road capability. Until now, they had to choose a luxury SUV to get the features they want – a feature level that this all-new, industry-leading Explorer now exceeds.”  


The new Explorer challenges the SUV status quo by offering luxury levels of convenience, connectivity and technology. From the highly equipped base model that includes MyFord driver connect technology through the volume-series XLT to the luxurious Limited series, Explorer provides SUV buyers unexpected technologies and conveniences normally found in premium SUVs.  


Blind spot monitoring, which looks out for the driver when backing from a parking spot with limited visibility, adaptive cruise control that safely monitors vehicles ahead, and active park assist that aids in finding and executing a parallel parking maneuver all represent technologies a buyer might expect to find when shopping premium SUVs. The all-new Explorer offers these and more.  


Base is the new well-equipped

The base Explorer delivers a strong package of customer convenience and technology features, with the following items as standard equipment:  

  • Hill start assist
  • Dual chrome exhaust tips
  • Projector-style headlamps
  • Power remote sideview mirror
  • LED taillamps
  • Air filtration system
  • Media hub, including an auxiliary input jack
  • Four 12-volt power points
  • Second- and third-row dome/map lights
  • Tilt/telescoping steering column
  • Steering wheel-mounted five-way and secondary audio controls
  • Cruise control
  • Power windows with one-touch driver’s down
  • Single CD/MP3-capable six-speaker audio system
  • MyKey™ owner control feature
  • Keyless entry remote

The base Explorer features cloth seats with first-row adjustable buckets, a 60/40 split fold-flat bench seat in the second row, and a 50/50 third-row split folding bench.  


XLT volume series adds tasteful touches

The all-new 2011 Explorer XLT offers all the base model equipment with a higher level of harmonizing chrome and satin-finish accent trim, 18-inch aluminum wheels, unique cloth seating, leather covering for steering wheel and shift knob, SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, SecuriCode™ keyless entry keypad, fog lamps, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio (including a prepaid six-month subscription in 48 contiguous states), perimeter alarm and reverse sensing system.  


Customers specifying Explorer XLT models are offered broader option choices, including the following packages:  

  • Driver Connection Package includes MyFord Touch driver connect technology with two driver-configurable LCD cluster screens, an 8-inch color touch screen in the center stack, expanded media hub with USB ports, an SD card reader and RCA video input jacks, Ford SYNC and electrochromic interior rearview mirror
  • Comfort Package includes leather-trimmed, heated seats with 10-way power adjustment for driver and six-way power adjustment for first-row passenger. Also includes four-way first-row head restraints

A premium audio system with eight speakers, rear view camera and dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control is also available.  


Explorer XLT also offers a dual-panel moonroof, power-operated liftgate, BLIS with cross-traffic alert, inflatable second-row seat belts for outboard seating positions, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, and premium paint colors – White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat and Red Candy Tinted Clearcoat – as stand-alone options.  


Range-topping Limited adds more luxury

SUV buyers seeking luxury with their capability will be impressed with the generous levels of convenience and connectivity technologies offered in the all-new Explorer Limited. From remote start through a 10-way leather-trimmed driver’s seat to adjustable pedals with memory settings, Limited takes Explorer luxury to a higher level.  


Visual distinction is assured with a unique body-color grille, body-color PowerFold® sideview mirrors with memory functionality, and 20-inch painted aluminum wheels.  


Explorer Limited includes all of the feature content offered in the XLT, plus:  

  • Ambient lighting
  • Adjustable pedals with memory
  • Cargo net
  • Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control
  • Leather-trimmed, heated seats
  • 10-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar and recline
  • Six-way power first-row passenger seat with lumbar and recline
  • Second-row 60/40 split bench seat with armrest and dual cupholders
  • Electrochromic interior rearview mirror
  • Sony® Audio System with high-definition radio and 12 speakers
  • Rear view camera
  • Remote start
  • 110-volt outlet
  •  SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system
  • Intelligent Access with push-button start
  • Universal garage door opener

The most luxurious Explorer model also comes standard with MyFord Touchdriver connect technology. This includes a pair of cluster-mounted driver-configurable displays, an 8-inch LCD color touch screen in the center stack with compass and temperature display, media hub with a pair of USB ports, and an SD card reader and RCA video input jacks. Explorer Limited offers five-way supplemental controls on the steering wheel.  


The all-new Explorer Limited can be further enhanced with a pair of series-specific option packages that add even more luxury, convenience and safety:  

  • Limited Package 1adds the voice-activated Navigation System, a single CD/MP3 player, SD card for map and point-of-interest storage, and integrated SIRIUS Travel Link™. Also included are perforated leather-trimmed seats with heating and cooling functionality for driver and first-row passenger, PowerFoldthird-row seating, a 10-way power adjustable first-row passenger seat with power lumbar and a power-assisted liftgate
  • Limited Package 2provides active park assist, adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, rain-sensing wipers, BLIS with cross-traffic alert and HID headlamps

Explorer Limited also offers second-row captain ’s chairs and a second-row console for SUV buyers placing a higher priority on rear seat luxury and seating comfort.  


“All these features help the all-new Ford Explorer challenge the notion of what SUVs can offer customers,” Marentic said. “This level of luxury, capability, convenience and connectivity, combined with jaw-dropping fuel efficiency, is the kind of leadership today’s SUV customers need and appreciate, coming from a nameplate they know and trust – Ford Explorer.”

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2011 Ford Edge Officially Has Top Fuel Economy and Best-In-Class Power

  • 2011 Ford Edge SEL and Limited (front-wheel drive) are EPA-estimated at unsurpassed 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway
  • Outstanding fuel economy is combined with best-in-class power. The standard 3.5-liter V6 produces 285 horsepower, tops among standard V6 competitors and 20 more horsepower than the outgoing Edge

2011 Ford Edge Limited


DEARBORN, Mich., July 14, 2010 – The 2011 Ford Edge now will officially offer the best fuel economy with the most power along with class-exclusive technology, dynamic design and improved craftsmanship.


The 2011 Ford Edge SEL and Limited, which account for about 80 percent of all Edge sales, are now EPA-estimated at 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway (front-wheel drive), which is unsurpassed in each category. The new Edge is now 1 mpg better city and 2 mpg better highway – with even greater power. The standard 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 285 horsepower, best-in-class among V6 competitors and 20 more horsepower than the outgoing Edge.


“Providing class-leading fuel economy and power are two of many examples of the improved attributes customers will find in the 2011 Edge,” said Elaine Bannon, Edge chief engineer. “The new Edge demonstrates how a refresh at Ford is much more than just a few tweaks. It’s reworking all the elements, adding more content and improving the look and feel of the vehicle.”


2011 Ford Edge vs. the Competition (all models FWD)*




2011 Ford Edge SEL and Limited




Toyota Venza




Honda Crosstour




Nissan Murano




Chevrolet Equinox




2010 Ford Edge SEL and Limited




*All numbers EPA-estimated, V6 engines. Best-in-class numbers in bold


“The 2011 Ford Edge will deliver V6 horsepower and fuel economy the competition simply can’t beat,” said Amy Marentic, group marketing manager, Ford cars and CUVs. “With up to a 4 mpg advantage over the competition, Edge will give customers the best of both worlds by delivering an engaging, fun-to-drive experience without sacrificing fuel economy. Edge will deliver all this while continuing to provide customers bold, distinctive styling and revolutionary technology highlighted by the industry-first MyFord Touch™ system.”


How 2011 Edge earned fuel economy leadership
Advanced engine technology, clever control strategies and a fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission combine to create a powertrain that efficiently produces increased levels of power and performance with improved fuel economy. Next-generation tires are key as well.


Engineers and designers examined all aspects of the popular midsize crossover and optimized them piece by piece, system by system. This intensive approach to detail has paid dividends.


Ford improved in fuel economy more than any major automaker between 2004 and 2009, according to the EPA. The government agency rates Ford’s combined car and truck fuel economy improvement at nearly 20 percent, almost double the next closest competitor.


“The key to the performance gains and fuel economy with the 2011 Ford Edge is that we don’t look at power and fuel economy as being mutually exclusive,” said Mazen Hammoud, Edge Powertrain Calibrations manager. “Instead, we focus on optimizing every component, every system and every control in the powertrain for greater overall efficiency, enabling increased power and better performance.”
Here’s a quick look at some of the key reasons why the 2011 Edge delivers class-leading power and fuel economy:

  • Advanced technology: New for 2011 is twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT), which allows on-the-fly adjustment to the engine’s airflow for maximum efficiency. This leads to better fuel economy – approximately a 3 to 4 percent improvement from this strategy alone.
  • New engine hardware: The 3.5-liter V6 for 2011 Edge adds piston-cooling jets and polished valvetrain buckets and combines them with an improved intake manifold and cylinder head with increased port flow to optimize the system as a whole. The piston-cooling jets spray oil on the underside of the pistons and enable faster oil warm-up and a higher compression ratio. The polished valvetrain buckets reduce friction, which in turn aids fuel economy and also improves durability (wear) of the cam and bucket tappet. The improved intake manifold and cylinder head optimizes engine airflow.
  • Lower idle speed: Engine idle speed was reduced from 620 to 600 rpm to save fuel.
  • Aerodynamic optimizations: Underbody shielding and tire spoilers were added to help create a more efficient aerodynamic shape. Also, the grille openings were optimized to reduce excess airflow to the engine compartment, thus reducing drag.
  • Fuel shutoff: The 2011 Edge employs an aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff control system, which shuts off the engine when the customer doesn’t command engine torque – such as decelerating at freeway speeds.
  • Battery management system: The new Edge also uses smart charging. Normally the alternator continuously charges the battery, which wastes energy. Smart charging increases the alternator output when braking or decelerating, converting the vehicle’s motion energy into electric energy without using additional fuel. The recovered energy then goes to recharge the battery so that it can be used later.
  • Electrical load shedding: This new feature shuts off devices if they are left on with the key in the accessory position. This saves battery life and keeps the battery from going dead, aiding reliable starts.
  • Reliable starts: The one-touch starting in the 2011 Edge enables starts of around seven-tenths of a second with precise fuel delivery for maximum fuel economy and minimal emissions.
  • New tires: Both the 2011 Edge SEL and Edge Limited add next-generation 18-inch tires. Just as the new powertrain produces increased power and better fuel economy, the new tires have been engineered to provide better performance and grip while also increasing fuel economy through improved construction and compound.

“The 2011 Ford Edge adds more power and performance with better fuel economy for a better customer experience,” said Bannon.


2011 Ford Edge Fact Sheet (PDF)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2011 Ford Edge Brochure

Here is the 2011 Ford Edge Brochure


2011 Ford Edge Brochure


Download the 2011 Ford Edge Brochure (PDF)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

As States Mull Bans, Ford Improves SYNC To Give Drivers Safer Alternatives To Hand-Held Texting

  • Ford adds “Do Not Disturb” button to block incoming calls and texts on new MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles and proactive feature content “lock-outs” to encourage use of voice control
  • In addition, Ford integrates new Bluetooth Message Access Profile (MAP) into SYNC for all MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles so more drivers can have texts read aloud to them while driving
  • Research In Motion (RIM), maker of BlackBerry smartphones, plans to adopt MAP and enable SYNC audible text messaging capability to work with all new smartphones; Ford urges other phone manufacturers to follow


DEARBORN, Mich., July 8, 2010 – As the issue of texting while driving grows in prominence nationally, Ford Motor Company is expanding its SYNC technology with new features to give drivers safer alternatives to hand-held texting and keep them more focused on the road.


To help make the in-car connection safer, Ford is improving the SYNC text message readback feature and empowering drivers with a “Do Not Disturb” button so they can decide the level of connectivity and communications they want to manage while in the car. Ford is also taking the proactive step to “lock-out” capabilities that are not relevant to the task of driving while the vehicle is in motion.


“Text messaging has become the default communications method for consumers of all ages,” said John Schneider, chief engineer, Ford multimedia and infotainment engineering. “The power of SYNC voice control combined with Ford’s latest connectivity improvements will reduce the temptation to pick up the phone and take your eyes off the road, providing a safer solution for the use of mobile devices in the car.”


Ford believes drivers should keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel and was the first automaker to support a proposed federal ban and state-level legislation banning hand-held texting while driving. In turn, Ford also understands that drivers want to be connected to their mobile worlds while on the road, and texting continues to grow as a preferred communication method. According to a new poll from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, for example, approximately one in four (27%) American adults and driving age teens (26%) admit to texting while driving.


Ford will offer the new features on 2011 model year vehicles equipped with MyFord or MyLincoln Touch, the intuitive driver connect technology that provides drivers personalized access to information and entertainment through voice control, touch screens and familiar five-way controls mounted on the steering wheel.


Bluetooth MAP
Bluetooth is the standard technology that allows electronic devices such as a mobile phone and Ford SYNC to communicate with each other wirelessly. To improve the number of phones that can “communicate” with SYNC so the system can read aloud incoming text messages to drivers, Ford has adopted the latest Bluetooth standard – Message Access Profile (MAP).


“Today, only a small population of phones have the capability to work with the text message readback feature of SYNC,” added Schneider. “With MAP technology, even more drivers will be able to use SYNC to listen to text messages.”


Defined by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the MAP standard outlines a set of features and procedures used to exchange email, SMS, and MMS messages between devices. It is tailored to the automotive hands-free environment where an onboard terminal device – in this case, SYNC – takes advantage of the messaging capability of a communications device, such as a BlackBerry smartphone.  


The Bluetooth SIG recommendations are considered benchmarks, but they’re not industry requirements. Ford has elected to implement the MAP to signal support for the protocol and encourage additional mobile device manufacturers to add the capability in their products.


“It’s only through acceptance of common standards industry-wide that key technologies can be adapted to the in-vehicle environment,” said Schneider. “We’re hoping to encourage the adoption of MAP so more customers – and more mobile devices – can successfully use the innovative features SYNC has to offer, helping reduce the problem of driver distraction.”


According to a 100-car study conducted by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, driver inattention that involved looking away from the road for more than a few seconds was a factor in nearly 80 percent of accidents. By providing drivers with the ability to receive audible, hands-free texts, Ford is hoping to help drivers focus on the task of driving.


Ford is already working with Research In Motion (RIM) and supports the company’s intention to begin implementing it in all new BlackBerry smartphones.


“RIM plans to implement MAP on BlackBerry smartphones moving forward and we are pleased to work with Ford in an effort to foster industry-wide adoption and standardization,” said Andrew Bocking, Vice President, Handheld Software Product Management at Research In Motion.


“Do Not Disturb” and locked features
Ford has also proactively designed the MyFord and MyLincoln Touch driver connect system to give drivers more control of how they manage communications while in the car. Screens can be personalized to display information relevant to an individual driver using a simple button click, voice command or touch-screen tap.


The new 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX will be first to offer the “Do Not Disturb” button. This handy feature blocks incoming phone calls or text messages from a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone paired with SYNC; diverting calls into voicemail and saving text messages on the device for viewing later. But unlike turning the phone off, drivers can still make voice-activated outgoing phone calls, if they so decide, and the SYNC 911 Assist feature can make a call to 911 in case of emergency.


In addition, Ford continues to limit access to a variety of communication features while the vehicle is in motion, thus encouraging drivers to use voice commands if they wish to access the function.


Ford is also taking the proactive step of locking out or limiting content and capabilities of MyFord Touch that are not related to the task of driving when the vehicle is in motion, for instance:

  • Screens with information not intended to be used by the driver while driving such as point-of-interest reviews and ratings plus SIRIUS Travel Link sports scores, movie listings, and ski conditions
  • Any action that requires typing on a keypad (e.g. typing a navigation destination, editing information)
  • Limiting lists of navigation and phone choices that the user can view to fewer entries (e.g. phone contacts, recent phone call entries)

Specific functions that are locked out when the vehicle is in motion:

  • Cell Phone
    • Pairing a Bluetooth-capable phone
    • Manually adding individual contacts into the Phonebook
    • Viewing received text messages on screen
  • WiFi Connectivity
    • Web browsing on the vehicle screen
  • Video/Photos/Graphics
    • Playing video
    • Album cover art and Phonebook photo browsing
    • Editing photos
    • Editing the screen’s wallpaper or adding a new one
  • Navigation
    • Destination entry by touchscreen keyboard input (voice entry is permissible)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ford CEO Alan Mulally To Serve On The President's Export Council

NOTE TO EDITOR: Today, President Barack Obama announced that Ford CEO Alan Mulally will serve on the President's Export Council (PEC). The PEC advises the President on export enhancement and ways to encourage companies to increase exports and enter new markets. The following is a statement from Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally:


DETROIT, MI, July 7, 2010. – “President Obama recently set a national goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years. We applaud this forward-looking goal and I am honored to serve on the President's Export Council and work toward helping America achieve it.


At Ford, we believe an export-driven strategy is critical to achieving our shared goals of economic growth, job creation and a sustainable future. One thing is certain. For exports to grow we must ensure that market access for manufactured goods remains at the center of U.S. trade policy. Manufacturing matters to American jobs, investment, and economic activity. It represents the future of green, hi-tech jobs that will drive innovation and it also happens to represent more than 60 percent of U.S. exports. Through the President's Export Council, I hope we can also explore ways to create and bolster public-private partnerships that will create the environment for innovative manufacturing that will drive exports.”